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Sunday, August 23, 2015, Bhadra 8, 1422 BS, Zilqad 7, 1436 Hijr

170 MW power helps off-grid population across country
Solar energy reaches people faster than ever before
Staff Correspondent
Published :Sunday, 23 August, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 130

Supported by the government's green energy policy, a total 170 megawatt solar power is being generated in the national off grid zones.
Use of solar power in Bangladesh is the fastest growing technology in Asia and it is still expanding.
According to Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), the growth of generating solar power every year on an average is 17 per cent which is transforming lives of the rural people and helping farmers to irrigate crop lands.
As per statistics, by July this year 4 million solar home systems (SHS) and two hundred solar irrigation pumps (SIP) are generating power through solar panels.
International financial institutions like World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and some other financiers are funding the government through IDCOL for generating solar power.
Till June this year about $800 million was received as grants and loan from different funding agencies and the government is providing loan supports to local entrepreneurs as they can help the poor people in installing SHS.
Pavel Rahman, a senior official of IDCOL, said, "We are funding the non-government agencies at only six per cent rate of interest in the off-grid zones to reduce solar panel installation costs."
He said they are providing loans to 46 participatory organisations (PO) at flat rates and the POs are doing SHS and SIP business with instalment facilities.
According to an official in the renewable energy cell of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, solar energy is growing in Bangladesh faster than any other Asian country.
He said in the global warming climate use of green power is an achievement for Bangladesh and besides that the SHS are helping the off grid zone people for access to electricity.
He said installing solar power is cost effective as after instalment of a system it does not virtually require maintenance and can generate power for many years without interruption.
An official of a PO while talking with the Daily Observer said he is providing instalment facilities to the villagers as it is not possible for a off-grid zone poor man to pay all the costs at a time.
The solar power is helping people to use mobile phones and computer and the students to be connected with the world over internet often sitting down in remote villages.
Till now there are a lot of remote areas where it is not possible to extend national power grid and solar panels are the only option to generate power for them at cheaper costs.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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